Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 15:34:36 +0900

>>>>> "Kragen" == Kragen Sitaker <kragen@pobox.com> writes:

    Kragen> Software produces value.  Proprietary software tends to
    Kragen> ensure that a significant chunk of the value produced
    Kragen> accrues to the publishers; free software tends to let a
    Kragen> larger chunk of that value accrue to the users.

Uh, you're ignoring Chris's main point, which is that the whole chunk
of value may be much smaller if you use free licenses.

It is really hard to believe that the chunk of value accruing to users
from _all_ free software is bigger than the size of the chunk of value
accruing _to users_ from Microsoft Word alone (unless you argue that
proprietary derivatives of permissively licensed free software---
especially the BSD TCP/IP stack and friends---should be accounted
"free").  There are just too damn many Word users.

    Kragen> I may think it valuable to have individual freedom, but
    Kragen> that doesn't raise tax revenues unless I find it valuable
    Kragen> as part of my job.

Proprietary software doesn't reduce your absolute freedom; it
increases it.  I'm sorry, Kragen, but not even RMS is free to use, let
alone derive works from, etherware.[1]

True, proprietary software can't be accounted wholly a net addition to
freedom; it surely crowds out some free software development.  What
you have to do is show that proprietary software actually crowds out
enough free software development to offset the "use freedom" generated
by the large amount of proprietary software.  "Unlikely" is not too
strong a word, I think.

Footnotes: 
[1]  Ie, immanent in the structure of reality, but not even vaporous yet.

-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
 My nostalgia for Icon makes me forget about any of the bad things.  I don't
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